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Firefighters test new equipment at Indianapolis conference

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Firefighters from across the globe are in Indianapolis this week for a conference to learn new skills and try new tools to keep people safe.

Demonstrations took place across Indianapolis Tuesday. It’s part of the Fire Department Instructor Conference & Exhibition.

“The equipment that we put in their hands and for them to be able to touch it, it helps us in identifying which type of equipment we want to purchase long term, so it’s very valuable,” Indianapolis Fire Department Chief Ernest Malone said.

During these live activities, firefighters are testing new saws, hammers and even jackets. The TECGEN gear weighs only 4 pounds.

Traditional gear can weigh 30 pounds. It’s meant to keep firefighters cool while working non-fire incidents like vehicle crashes.

Feedback at the conference helps TECGEN improve the equipment.

“It doesn’t get any more real than this environment, and I can promise you these guys are not scared to give you their feedback, and I love it,” TECGEN product specialist Todd Herring said. “That’s why we’re here.”

Firefighters hope the upgrades will help save lives.

“Always like to try new things,” Firefighter Edward Meyers said. “The service is always not big on change, but change is a good thing sometimes, so yeah, it’s definitely an adventure.”

The lighter outfits cost upwards of $600 each, and cost is obviously is big concern for fire departments.

FDIC runs until Saturday.